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Superintendent Drama in District 15

Mayor Eric Adams and Chancellor David C. Banks announced the names of the future leaders of New York City’s School Districts. Although there was a resounding outcry of support for the current District 15 Superintendent Anita Skop to remain in place, another candidate Rafael Alvarez was selected. Rafael Alvarez has been Superintendent in the Bronx in District 7 before.

Superintendent Skop has been in her role for 13 years and guided the District in developing the new D15 middle school admissions process and the rezoning of 7 segregated elementary schools in the last few years. She was also instrumental in the launch of a brand new public elementary school coming to Sunset Park focusing on students with special needs and non-linear learners (similar to the Children’s School in Carroll Gardens) and the implementation of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in many District 15 schools.

The CEC15 demands chancellor Banks to reinstate D15 Superintendent Skop. See their press release below:

“CEC15 unanimously voted to support Anita Skop and upwards of 3000 letters of support were sent to Chancellor Banks and the DOE. The community heavily supported the reinstatement of Anita Skop, as did many of our elected officials, but community support and parent feedback were clearly not at the heart of the DOE’s decision making process. After applying for this position, Superintendent Skop was told that her “services are no longer needed.” It was not until the community rose up that Ms. Skop was allowed to participate in the Superintendent Town Halls. D15 parents came together with CECs, the Presidents’ Council and Title 1 PAC, to interview, discuss and debate which of the four candidates would be the right fit for this district. The overwhelming opinion was in favor of Superintendent Skop remaining as the D15 Superintendent.

“The absolute disregard and dismissal of public feedback in this process shows how little the Mayor and Chancellor really value family engagement, student voice, or the D15 community,” said CEC15 President Camille Casaretti. “We stand firm in our commitment to represent and support our District 15 families, educators and administrators. This decision to replace Anita Skop is the opposite of what our community wants or needs. A change in leadership this significant will disrupt all of the positive work that we continue to do together.” She went on to say, “Anita Skop is a woman who has helped build and guide this district to become legendary. She has led this district with grace for 10 years, having received numerous awards and grants, and has shaped our district as one to be modeled throughout the nation. We expect this decision to be reversed immediately.”

In a message to Chancellor Banks after the announcement was made, Senator Jabari Brisport said “I’m disappointed in this decision and frankly surprised. My office has received a massive outpouring of support for Anita Skop from parents and teachers in District 15 throughout this decision-making process, and I assume your office has as well. I’m joining with CEC15 and my colleagues in government to ask that you reverse this decision and allow Anita Skop to remain Superintendent.”

“Let me join the CEC in also expressing my deep disappointment and sadness that Superintendent Skop was not reappointed,” said Senator Zellnor Myrie. “The DOE will be hearing more from us on this shortly.”

In a message to Chancellor Banks, Assemblyman Robert Carroll said “I concur with the CEC, my colleagues, and the thousands of constituents who wrote in support of Anita Skop to remain as Superintendent of District 15. I urge you to reconsider this decision and to restore her position.”

City Councilperson Alexa Aviles said “I am deeply disappointed in the decision to not reappoint superintendent Skop who has almost unanimous support across D15 school principals, CEC 15, the vast majority of parents, and elected officials. On the heels of a budget deal that has left our schools reeling, this decision represents a profound breach of trust between D15 and the BOE/administration. We stand with Anita Skop and hope you will reverse course and take into consideration the sea of unified community voices who have confidence and trust in her demonstrated experience in our District.”

“Anita Skop has been an exemplary superintendent. She is rightly beloved and respected across our district by parent leaders, school communities, and elected officials,” said City Councilperson Lincoln Restler. “Chancellor Banks – I hope you will seriously reconsider this decision. District 15 is best served with Anita Skop at the helm.”

City Councilperson Shahana Hanif said “You have heard from the local elected officials, parent leaders, and the broader school community in proactive support of our Superintendent Skop, and that too, days in advance of your decision. It is not clear why you are moving forward to have her replaced without clarifying the reasons or the process justifying removing her at this moment. I submitted a letter affirming her leadership, especially during COVID times, and did not get a response aside from that it was received. I join all others on this chain to share my disappointment, and I call on you to have her restored as Superintendent and to immediately meet with us. We await your reply.”

Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks ignored the voices of District 15 by appointing a new Superintendent today, damaging trust and making a mockery of community engagement. You can read more about this in the attached and below Press Release: CEC15 DEMANDS CHANCELLOR BANKS REINSTATE D15 SUPERINTENDENT SKOP.
Our community overwhelming supports Superintendent Skop as the D15 candidate of choice.
Have your voice heard. Write to Chancellor Banks and DC Blackburn and let them know that Superintendent Skop must be reinstated.
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